Psaki's handling of the matter was celebrated by netizens on Twitter who recognized Sutherland's question for what it is: an attempt to differentiate trans girls from cisgender girls and pit them against each other.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki may have only had the job for a few weeks now but the overwhelming consensus is that she is killing it. In addition to providing a refreshing change of pace — or rather, a return to normalcy — from the conspiracies and lies filled ramblings of her predecessors from the former administration, Psaki also appears to be more than capable of handling conservative media's efforts to stir up trouble. The 42-year-old gave us a rather impressive demonstration of this during a press briefing on Tuesday when Fox News Radio' Rachel Sutherland put forward a thinly-veiled transphobic question about transgender athletes.
When I asked Jennifer Palmieri to describe what it's like working with Jen Psaki in the White House, she told me that, together, "Jens get a lot of s--- done." And reader, I have to agree.— Jennifer Liu (@jljenniferliu) February 11, 2021
Get to know Jen Psaki, Joe Biden’s White House press secretaryhttps://t.co/9lZIMI6QBI
Saying she had a question about President Biden's "transgender rights executive actions, specifically when it comes to high school sports," Sutherland went on to ask a circumlocutory question based on the debunked conservative belief that trans-student-athletes have an unfair advantage over cis athletes. "What message would the White House have for trans girls and cis girls who may end up competing against each other, and sparking some lawsuits and some concern among parents," Sutherland asked. "So does this administration have guidance for schools on dealing with disputes rising for trans girls competing against and with cis girls?"
“I’m familiar with the President’s executive action; what is your *question*?”— Douglas Moran (@dougom) February 10, 2021
"I'm not sure what your question is," Psaki replied when Sutherland had finished. When the reporter began with "the president's executive order..." the press secretary interrupted her to make it clear that while she is familiar with the order — the "Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation" signed by President Biden last month — she wasn't clear on what Sutherland wanted to ask her. "My question is does the president have a message for local school officials in dealing with these kinds of disputes that are already starting to arise between the trans girls who are competing and cis girls and a level playing field, particularly in high school sports when it leads to college scholarships," Sutherland rephrased.
“No such thing as “trans” girls or “cis” girls. Only girls.— Austin Ruse (@austinruse) February 9, 2021
"Is there any kind of messaging or clarification the White House wants to give on the executive order?" she added. Psaki's response was concise. "I would just say that the president's belief is that trans rights are human rights, and that's why he signed that executive order," she said. "In terms of the determinations by universities and colleges, I certainly defer to them." Psaki's handling of the matter was celebrated by netizens on Twitter who recognized Sutherland's question for what it is: an attempt to differentiate trans girls from cisgender girls and pit them against each other by casting the latter as some kind of victim of the former.
"The president's belief is that trans rights are human rights" -- Jen Psaki pic.twitter.com/8VOMcN4XoR— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 9, 2021
This is exactly the kind of thing President Biden sought to address by signing the executive order. "Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love," the order reads. "Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports. Adults should be able to earn a living and pursue a vocation knowing that they will not be fired, demoted, or mistreated because of whom they go home to or because how they dress does not conform to sex-based stereotypes."
I like the new dynamic of long, complex questions, followed by short, clear answer.— Michael Tallon (@MichaelXTallon) February 9, 2021
We all know what the real question is - "doesn't Biden think trans people are icky, like all good people do?"— Bio Teacher will be getting vaccinated! (@joshhayes51) February 11, 2021
But of course, they don't want to admit that's what they mean.
All Jen Psaki had to do was sit back and let that reporter reveal her own ridiculousness— NewDawnNewDay and I'm Feeling Good (@passionflower92) February 9, 2021
I love how she just lets that reporter keep talking and making her question seem dumber and dumber. Lol— Colleen McNamara ☘️ (@cmcubfan) February 9, 2021
"People should be able to access healthcare and secure a roof over their heads without being subjected to sex discrimination. All persons should receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation," it adds. Biden's stance and action on the issue of transgender student-athletes is a stark departure from the transphobia of the former administration, which threatened to pull Department of Education funding from school districts in Connecticut unless they agreed to discriminate against transgender students.